Merino Wool Socks - Why They Are Better Than Regular Wool
Merino wool socks shouldn't be new to you if you hike, camp, fish, ski, snowboard or any other outdoor activity. Merino wool has been a part of the outdoor industry for a number of years now. If you're not familiar with it, then I'm guessing you are new to outdoor recreation or you don't know there is a difference between merino wool and regular wool. Either way, you've been missing out on the most popular fabric for outdoor clothing products available.
Merino wool is different from regular wool. As you can see in this picture, merino sheep have thinner finer wool than other sheep. This provides a couple benefits that make merino wool ideal for use in outdoor clothing. First, after the wool fibers are knit into a fabric, the fabric is able to trap more air providing superior thermal insulation. Studies have shown that merino wool is actually able to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. The second reason the thinner fibers are better for outdoor clothing is that it makes for a non itchy wool. Unlike standard wool, merino wool is super soft. You get all of the great properties of standard wool, but without the annoying itch.
Merino Wool Socks - Merino Wool Vs Cotton
Instead of merino wool socks, I've notice that many people still stick to 100% cotton socks for everything they do. 100% cotton is definitely soft and comfortable. But cotton has a very limited comfort range. The reason for this is that cotton absorbs water like a sponge. It retains that water like to a sponge too. When cotton gets wet, it no longer retains heat. So if you are wearing cotton socks to do anything active, the socks just absorb all that moisture from your feet. Before long you are cold, damp, and miserable. Merino wool socks on the other hand absorb little water. Merino wool is naturally hydrophobic which means that it hates water. Merino wool also retains your body's natural heat when it does get wet. When you wear merino wool for high activity sports, the merino wool is able to dissipate the moisture and keep your skin warm and dry.
Merino Wool Socks - Nature's Protection Against Cold
There are plenty of other fabrics that are able to do what merino wool does. But, the reason merino wool is so popular is because it is a natural fiber. This means that any product made from merino wool is earth friendly to produce and earth friendly to dispose of. Additionally, many people are allergic to synthetic or man made fibers. Since merino wool is a natural fiber, it is uncommon and almost impossible for people to have an allergy to it.
So, if you are still wearing anything but merino wool socks for your outdoor adventures, it's time to try on a pair. Once you try them out you'll find yourself replacing other parts of your wardrobe with merino wool as well.